ORCA Twin Engine :- India’s Next Gen Plane Render Revealed
Harsh Vardhan Thakur, Test Pilot with HAL greeted his followers on occasion of New Year along with a render of fighter aircraft from his Twitter account what seems to be a first official render of Twin-engined fighter jet but still leaving many confused and unanswered questions.
ORCA short for ” Omni Role Combat Aircraft”?In my opinion a twin engine Tejas Mk.2 is a far possibility. It is almost making an entirely new aircraft from the scratch.
The second engine would come with its own weight and the entire airframe’s internal structure would need a rework. The control surfaces would need to be redesigned , The old control laws won’t work , so new control laws would be needed.
With all technical work to be done from the scratch an idea of twin-engine Tejas Mk.2 seems me a good idea overall.
The IAF needs to reach the 45 squadrons mark as soon as possible. That 45 squadrons should consist of a good mix of heavy, medium and light aircraft. The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is the heavy aircraft and is supposed to reach a total number of 272 which would comprise of 15 squadrons . The Rafale and Mig-29 would be the medium jets for about 8-10 squadrons. Then a single engine fighter including 60 Mirage-2000 and new TEJAS Mk-II would be the light aircraft and should be some 20 squadrons in total. This last category includes the Mig-21 and Mig-27 which will be phased out in the next few years. So the need is urgent, to say the least.
A twin-engine fighter jet can do everything a single engine TEJAS was supposed to do and is a hell of a lot easier to design. If India were to design a larger TEJAS using two GE-F404 engines to power it, the unit cost will be under 50 million and it will work on day one. Buying additional GE-F404 engine will not add to the cost as in the case of F414 engines and GE will be glad to supply the engine as it will add substantial cheer to its balance sheet. I am certain that the very first prototype will do everything better than the TEJAS. We have to bear in mind that AMCA will be a totally independent line of development when compared to the TEJAS.
The advantages of a twin-engine design are many, first, it will have increased speed and maneuverability, the jet will have enhanced range because it can carry more fuel and with refueling, it can be extended to well over 2000 km. It can carry larger combat loads. It is also less susceptible to mechanical failures or combat damage. It can carry larger combat loads. At high altitudes, using two engines will have tremendous supplemental benefits, as losing a single engine jet over water or land is a much more life-threatening experience. System redundancy is a tertiary benefit of multi-engine aircraft, since losing engine results in only a 50% loss in total available thrust, plus redundant generators and hydraulic pumps will allow the aircraft to fly. In addition, having two engines will reduce training losses.
TEJAS has provided Indian engineers valuable knowledge and experience to design and build a cutting-edge contemporary fighter, the long gestation period taken to develop the TEJAS will come in handy when designing and manufacturing the twin-engine jet.
A Twin Engine Tejas or more popularly as Medium Combat Aircraftwas proposed earlier also.
While HAL,ADA and DRDO finished their work on TD aircrafts of Tejas in late 1990s and a successful flight in 2001, the HAL and DRDO came up with another proposal, the proposal of “MCA” aka twin engine tejas,the program was intended for the replacement of Mig-29s, Mirage-2000 and Jaguars from the IAF service.
The design of the aircraft was simple it retained same delta wing configuration however it had two engine instead of one and no vertical stabilizers,the HAL planned to equip the fighter with TVC engines. However, the IAF showed little interest in the program and she didn’t had faith on HAL either eventually, the plan was shelved back in 2000s and the IAF insisted on the LCA instead.
ORCA features Canards as seen in MWF and also IRST and IFR in almost the same position as seen in the MWF Scale model displayed at Aero India last year..Nevertheless, it’s a great design in the render with some glarring errors related F-414 engine positions in the rear section are too close to each other.